WINSLOW, Maine — Winslow High School junior righthander Megan Richards has been working on her curve and it came in handy on Monday afternoon.
Richards scattered seven hits and worked out of several jams to lead Winslow to a 5-2 high school softball victory over Camden Hills.
Winslow snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-3 while Camden Hills slipped to 2-5.
Richards struck out five and walked one while throwing 80 pitches, 60 of which were strikes. Both runs were unearned.
She held Camden Hills to one hit in 17 at-bats with runners on base.
“I just started using my curve the past couple of games and it has been working pretty well,” said Richards, who also featured a fastball and a changeup.
She said the curve was important in helping her pitch out of trouble.
“She used her changeup a lot,” observed Camden Hills sophomore first baseman Bekah Hilt, who had a pair of singles and drew a walk in four plate appearances. “She was a good pitcher. She did a great job.”
“She had a weird windup and it threw a lot of the girls off,” said Camden Hills senior pitcher Mallory Farley. “And she threw a lot of changeups. I think she threw changeups to almost everyone.
“It was a very tough game. We hit well and fielded well but we just couldn’t get the hits with people on base to bring them home,” added Farley.
“That’s been the story of the year for us,” said Camden Hills coach Marty Messer.
Farley pitched well in defeat, allowing just five hits and three earned runs among the five. She struck out five and didn’t walk anyone. She threw 84 pitches, 60 for strikes.
“I was real happy with Mallory. She threw strikes,” said Messer. “We’re a young team and we’re getting better.”
Camden Hills took a 1-0 lead in the third on Natalie Hamalainen’s single, an outfield throwing error, a groundout and Abby White’s sacrifice fly.
Winslow took the lead for good in the bottom of the third on Hayley Pottle’s bloop single to right, Mariah Chenard’s little pop-fly single between the plate and the mound, a wild pitch, Stephanie Brawn’s RBI groundout and another wild pitch.
Pottle and Chenard each fell behind 0-2 in the count before getting their hits. Pottle singled off a 3-2 pitch and Chenard singled after fouling off three 0-2 pitches.
“One of our goals is to not strike out looking,” said first-year Winslow coach Beth Fisher. “We consider that a mental error.”
Winslow added a run in the fourth on Richards’ two-out double over left fielder Taylor Palmer’s head and an infield throwing error.
Camden Hills made it 3-2 in the top of the sixth on a walk, two groundouts and an infield error.
But Winslow added a pair of valuable insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Gabrielle Languet lined a double off the third base bag and Jennifer Poulin sacrificed her to second.
Allison LeClair, who had hit the ball hard in two previous at-bats only to have nothing to show for it, lined a 2-2 pitch to left to score Languet.
“It was a relief,” said LeClair.
After Richards was hit on the foot by a pitch, two passed balls scored LeClair.
The Windjammers had a potential rally in the seventh snuffed out by a heads-up play by Winslow second baseman Jordyn Pomerleau.
White reached on a bunt single to start the inning and Shantel Gibson looped a fly ball into shallow right center that glanced off the glove of a diving Jessica Pare, the right fielder.
White had to hold to see if the ball was going to be caught and the alert Pomerleau retrieved the ball and threw to second to get the force-out.
Two groundouts ended the game.
Camden Hills’ Gibson, Hilt and Hamalainen were the game’s only repeat hitters with two hits apiece. One of Gibson’s hits was a double.